May 31, 2010

A Blood Libel Unfolds in Real Time

Benjamin Kerstein in The New Ledger:

You are about to witness a blood libel take shape in real time. By the time you read this, you will no doubt have been informed that the Israeli navy stormed the pro-Palestinian flotilla headed for Gaza and wantonly fired upon the peaceful activists within, killing many.

This is a lie. But it is a lie that will be repeated ad nauseum over the coming days, until it takes on all the appearance of truth. As you watch this happen, note well what it says about the people who repeat this lie, and the ease with which it is accepted by many ostensibly sensible and right thinking people. And note as well what this says about their claims to be compassionate, liberal, concerned citizens of the world.

The details are not entirely clear at the moment, and the numbers of dead and wounded may change over the coming hours. But what is clear is that those on board the flotilla were armed and prepared to use their weapons. That they attacked the Israeli commandos who attempted to board the vessels and that several of these commandos are currently languishing (dead or wounded, reports vary) in Israeli hospitals. That the weapons used were clubs and knives, both potentially lethal weapons, and that at least one firearm was taken from an Israeli soldier and turned against the boarding party. That the Israeli soldiers reacted as anyone would react when attacked by a club and knife-wielding mob. And lastly, that they and Israel are about to be internationally crucified, once again, for doing precisely this.

Moreover, it is already clear that this violence was undertaken with one purpose in mind and one purpose only--to provoke the political/media assault on Israel which is about to ensue.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 31, 2010 2:38 PM
Michael I'm curious. How do you call a Middle-eastern politician?
Posted by: Ali at May 31, 2010 7:14 pm

Do you mean on the phone?
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 31, 2010 7:20 pm
I don't think they read their "constituents" mail or answer their phone calls.
Posted by: Ali at May 31, 2010 7:21 pm
No, they do not.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 31, 2010 7:22 pm
The whole idea of "politics" in this context is amusing (often in a macabre---if not bloody---kind of way).
Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 2, 2010 12:04 am
who started the violence?

the victim or the aggressor?
Posted by: ABJ at June 2, 2010 11:26 am

there's no doubt these a-holes were there to score a propaganda coup but Israel didn't have to offer it to them on a silver platter. The IDF forces couldn't have done a worse job (from the point of view of Israel's interests) if they had torpedoed and sank the damn thing, killing everybody!

Boarding in international waters? Not disabling the ships? Sending soldiers on board with paintball guns? Boarding without knowing what level of resistance to expect? Landing the commandos on board in such a way (2 at a time, small force, no way to reinforce) that their only option was to shoot to kill or succumb to lynching? No backup plan involving non lethal force?

I could go on and on but you get the point (the jpost and haaretz offer even more criticism). Unfortunately nobody has to lie to make Israel look bad this time. All you need is the reality that those whose mind is not made up, expect a police action from the IDF. When instead they see a deadly raid, nothing else matters. Their mind is made up that this was an unnecessary massacre of petty troublemakers not a battle with wanna be martyrs.
Posted by: Dean at June 2, 2010 1:33 pm
I have had enough of the 'Israel should have done' nonsense. How about 'the Palestinians should be expected to conduct themselves in the same manner as the rest of us'?

It is foolish, completely backwards, and a touch racist to blame Israel even one percent in this matter. To say that Israel should have known better is to say that the Palestinians are little better than dogs that will strike out when cornered, without any human capacity for reasonable self-restraint. Such an attitude is baldly racist, and I encourage readers to do a self-exam before laying any blame on Israel.

The 'flotilla' is an outrage and the injured activists are fortunate that they are dealing with honorable (non-Palestinian) foes, and not an enemy of their own kind.
Posted by: Dave at June 3, 2010 7:13 am
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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